Brian Friel

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Oona Doherty’s Hard to Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer at Dublin Dance Festival. PR photograph: Luca Truffarelli

In 2014 I was asked to take part in a theatre conference at NUI Galway called “Pushing Form”. My paper was on my own experimental work, exploring form(...)

“A skyward scowl.The grim realisation: sun protection must be increased by two million per cent to be in with any chance of avoiding the pork-crackling look.” Photograph: iStock

It was Leonard Cohen who wrote: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” We can all agree that he was ruminating on that which (...)

Lisa McGee: “There can’t only be male Irish writers or playwrights because women are shit at it – there’s something else at work”

Lisa McGee remembers the first time she knew stories from her homeplace could reach further afield. “I was on attachment at the National Theatre,” sh(...)

The Door Was Open And The House Was Dark is the title of the third-last poem in Human Chain. Seamus wrote it in memory of his dear friend David Hammon(...)

Maxine Peake will take part in the Lughnasa FrielFest in August. Photograph:   John Phillips/Getty Images

Maxine Peake and I are discussing uncomfortable truths. “As a human race, we’re pretty despicable,” says the acclaimed actor, famous for roles from TV(...)

Garech Browne and Anthony Palliser at Luggala, Co Wicklow.

The first time I visited Anthony Palliser’s Paris home, back in 2007, I found the poets Derek Mahon and John Montague in the Anglo-Belgian painter’s s(...)

Repeal the Eighth: there is no compassion if we cannot ask “What if that were me?” Photograph: Tom Honan

What it comes down to is a difference of three letters and one question mark. It’s the difference between What If? and As If. Everyone old enough to v(...)

Aisling O’Sullivan and Brian Doherty in Annabelle Comyn’s production of ‘The Wake’, by Tom Murphy, at the Abbey Theatre in 2016. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

In 2006, during a public interview, Tom Murphy enumerated the three most common questions asked of a playwright: How do you write a play? What’s your (...)

Martin Giles and Molly Carden in Translations at Washington DC’s Studio Theatre. Photograph: Teresa Wood.

Brian Friel’s masterpiece of miscommunication, Translations, explores the complex dance between language, place and self. As an immigrant from Belfast(...)

Footlights: Tyrone Guthrie in the early 1960s. Photograph: Hulton-Deutsch/Corbis via Getty

In 2012 the Guardian’s veteran theatre critic Michael Billington named TyroneIn 2012 the Guardian’s veteran theatre critic Michael Billington named Ty(...)

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